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Vital Signs

Chapter 5

Auscultation A method of listening to sounds within an organ with a stethoscope.
AVPU Scale A method of assessing level of consciousness by determining whether the patient is awake and alert, responsive to verbal stimuli or pain, or unresponsive; used principally early in the assessment.
Blood Pressure (BP) The pressure of circulation blood against the walls of the arteries.
Bradycardia Slow heart rate, less than 60 beats/min.
Capillary refill The ability of the circulatory system to restore blood to the capillary system; evaluated by using a simple test.
Chief Complaint The reason a patient called for help, Also, the patient's response to questions such as "What's wrong?" or "What happened?"
Conjunctiva The delicate membrane lining the eyelids and covering the exposed surface of the eye.
Cyanosis A bluish-gray skin color that is caused by reduced levels of oxygen in the blood.
Diaphoretic Characterized by profuse sweating.
Diastolic pressure The pressure that remains in the arteries during the relaxing phase of the heart's cycle (diastole) when the left ventricle is at rest.
Hypertension Blood pressure that is higher than the normal range.
Hypotension Blood pressure that is lower than the normal range.
Jaundice A yellow skin or sclera color that is caused by liver disease or dysfunction.
Labored breathing Breathing that requires visibly increased effort; characterized by grunting, stridor, and use of accessory muscles.
OPQRST An abbreviation for key terms used in evaluating a patient's signs and symptoms; onset, provocation or palliation, quality, region/radiation, severity, and timing of pain.
Perfusion Circulation of blood within an organ or tissue.
Pulse The pressure wave that occurs as each heartbeat causes a surge in the blood circulating through the arteries.
Pulse oximetry An assessment tool that measure oxygen saturation of hemoglobin in the capillary beds.
SAMPLE history A brief history of a patient's condition to determine signs and symptoms, allergies, medications, pertinent past history, last oral intake, and events leading to the injury or illness.
Sclera The white portion of the eye.
Signs Objective findings that can be seen, heard, felt, smelled, or measured.
Sniffing position An unusually upright position in which the patient's head and chin are thrust slightly forward.
Spontaneous respirations Breathing in a patient that occurs with no assistance.
Stridor A harsh, high-pitched, crowing inspiratory sound, such as the sound often heard in cute laryngeal (upper airway) obstruction.
Symptoms Subjective findings that the patient feels but that can be identified only by the patient.
systolic pressure The increased pressure along an artery with each contraction (systole) of the ventricles.
Tachycardia Rapid heart rhythm, more than 100 beats/min.
Tidal volume The amount of air that is exchanged with each breath.
Tripod position An upright position in which the patient leans forward onto two arms stretched forward and thrusts the head and chin forward.
Vasoconstriction narrowing of a blood vessel
Vital Signs The key signs that are used to evaluate the patient's overall condition, including respirations, pulse, blood pressure, level of consciousness, and skin characteristics.
Created by: azoch